Arts Clinic Students with Chimwemwe Undi

Mayor’s Luncheon


Written by Connor Giesbrecht

On June 13, 2024, students from the Manitoba Legal Clinic for the Arts joined local artists and supporters of the arts at the 16th annual Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts. The Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts and Winnipeg Arts Council Awards, hosted by Mayor Scott Gillingham and the Winnipeg Arts Council, celebrate and recognize remarkable Winnipeg artists and the promise, excellence, creativity, and support of the arts in Winnipeg. 

The Luncheon started on a high note, courtesy of a rousing performance by the Dirty Catfish Brass Band. Other performances included a song by members of the cast of Ma-Buhay!, a musical which will debut at Rainbow Stage this summer, as well as a stirring poem recitation by Winnipeg’s Poet Laureate (and lawyer at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman) Chimwemwe Undi.

Awards were given out to many deserving artists throughout the luncheon. Included in the list of honourees was Ekene Emeka-Maduka, who won the RBC On the Rise Award for an emerging Winnipeg artist; Brenda Gorlick, who was given the Career Achievement in the Arts Award by Gail Asper for her long-standing arts practice in film and stage performance; and Sharon Bajer, who received the Making a Mark Award for established artists to celebrate her remarkable career in both theatre and film. 

In a significant moment, Métis beadwork artist Jennine Krauchi received the Making a Difference Award, which honours an artist or arts professional who has made notable contributions to the growth or development of the arts in Winnipeg. Krauchi’s receipt of this award marked a formal recognition and celebration of beadwork as a distinct artistic discipline. The award also acknowledged Krauchi’s outstanding artistic skills, as well as her excellence in teaching hundreds of workshops.

The Manitoba Legal Clinic for the Arts was privileged to sponsor a number of talented artists at the Luncheon. Among these artists were Deco Dawson, a multiple award-winning experimental filmmaker whose co-collaborators include the likes of Guy Maddin; and Val Vint, a multi-disciplinary Métis artist whose statues can be found throughout Winnipeg. (You’ve probably seen Education is the New Bison, a 12-foot bison sculpture composed of steel likenesses of books and films by Indigenous authors and allies currently displayed at the Forks.)

Throughout the event, the Arts Clinic’s summer students had the opportunity to speak with these artists and learn more about their work and the need for artist-centered legal services in Manitoba. The students also had the chance to connect with Kara Joseph and Sam Posnick of Creative Manitoba, who expressed their appreciation for the work the Arts Clinic does to support Manitoba artists by providing services and information surrounding the unique legal needs of the arts community.

Through their discussions with these artists and other attendees, the law students gained a deeper understanding of the work required of the legal profession to enhance support for artists, as well as the ways this could enrich Manitoba’s arts and cultural landscape.

The Manitoba Legal Clinic for the Arts and students would like to thank The Marcel A. Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law for its generous support and funding which allowed the clinic to attend and participate in the Luncheon.

Arts Clinic Students with Kara Joseph and Sam Posnick, Creative Manitoba
Arts Clinic Students with Mayor Scott Gillingham
Dr. Laura Reimer and Dr. Bruce Curran, Marcel A. Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law

The views and opinions expressed in the blogs and case reporter are the views of their authors, and do not represent the views of the Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law, the Faculty of Law, or the University of Manitoba. Academic Members of the University of Manitoba are entitled to academic freedom in the context of a respectful working and learning environment.